Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

RASHIED ALI QUINTET

Judgment Day

2006-11-13

John Coltrane’s last percussionist, legendary master jazz drummer Rashied Ali has for the past 20 years been operating like an Art Blakey figure in terms of discovering and nurturing new talent. His current working quintet is another cross-generational affair featuring veterans Greg Murphy (piano) and Joris Teepe (bass) and two of New York’s finest young musicians, Lawrence Clark on tenor sax and Jumaane Smith on trumpet. On “Judgment Day,” this tightly knit group swings in fairly conventional postbop fashion on rarely covered tunes. On the topic of covering jazz tunes, the liner notes quote Ali as saying “If they can play Beethoven, why not Coltrane?” While Coltrane is not represented here, the quotation is apt in that the music of such undeniably influential figures as Monk, Shorter and Strayhorn are played with faithfulness and fluent unpredictability. Drum Beat Magazine says, “Though this band rarely plays outside of New York City, this is one of the more potent working quintets in jazz today.” Dusted Magazine says “Rashied Ali is one of the most underrated drummers to emerge from the turbulently exploratory 1960s.” –P

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